Endangered Species

Last month, the U.S. Senate considered eight bills that would modify the Endangered Species Act, most of which aim to saddle resource-strapped federal wildlife agencies with burdensome new hurdles and requirements. Many also include rules that would force agencies to consider shoddy science and prioritize economic considerations like dirty fossil fuel drilling over wildlife habitat protection.

One bill, crafted and sponsored by Republican presidential candidate Senator Rand Paul, would be so devastating to our ability to protect endangered wildlife that it was described by one expert as the “Extinction Acceleration Act.”

Paul’s bill would remove protections from 94% of currently listed species, including polar bears, wolves, grizzly bears, and sea otters. It would force the automatic removal of species from the endangered list after five years, whether or not those species had recovered and were deemed safe by scientists.

Worst of all, it would take the entire process of species protection out of the hands of biologists and wildlife experts, where it rests right now, and require the consent of state governors and a joint resolution of Congress. And if an endangered species was found to reside entirely in the borders of a single state, that state’s governor would have the power to overrule the protection of that species.

We need to stand up against all of these attempts now before Congress guts the Endangered Species Act.  Tell Congress to leave the Endangered Species Act alone.